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Greetings, relatives.

A lot of news out there on this holiday weekend. Thanks for stopping by Indian Country Today’s digital platform.

Each day we do our best to gather the latest news for you. Okay, here's what you need to know today:

The chairman of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate offered South Dakota's Legislature a history lesson on Thursday during the annual State of the Tribes address, as he emphasized tribal sovereignty and government-to-government relations.

Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribal Chairman Delbert Hopkins, Jr. speaks to the South Dakota Legislature during the State of the Tribes address in Pierre, S.D. on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

Chairman Delbert Hopkins Jr. entered the House chamber to a beating drum, Dakota songs and with an honor guard of tribal veterans. After leading the chamber in a moment of silence for the people who have died from COVID-19, he reminded lawmakers that treaties between the U.S. government and tribal nations have always been a part of the country's history, starting with George Washington and the Constitution.

“In the state of South Dakota Admissions Act, the people of South Dakota promised that they would never lay claim to Indian lands as a condition of becoming a state,” Hopkins told the Legislature.

(Related: Tribal leaders voice concerns about water, voting, COVID)

State and tribal governments have long had an uneasy relationship in South Dakota, and the annual State of the Tribes address, which is delivered by one of the nine tribal leaders in the state, is meant to foster cooperation. Hopkins named several areas where the state and tribes could work together better, including education, economic development and law enforcement. READ MORE.The Associated Press


Peterson Zah recognized early on that teamwork was the best way to achieve your goals, and being a leader means collaborating with others, even with those who are more knowledgeable.

Pictured: Former Navajo Nation Chairman and first President of the Navajo Nation Peterson Zah addresses a tribal energy summit in 2011.

The former Navajo Nation Chairman and first President of the Navajo Nation was awarded the Grand Canyon Trust Lifetime Achievement Award on Tuesday for his decades-long work.

The award “recognizes exceptional individuals who have accomplished significant conservation for the Grand Canyon and the Colorado Plateau,” according to the Grand Canyon Trust.

“Peterson has truly been a giant in this region, and well beyond. We are so honored to recognize Peterson, his achievements, and his profoundly positive impacts on this world,” said Ethan Aumack, Grand Canyon Trust executive director, in a press release. READ MORE. Kalle Benallie, Indian Country Today

The federal website where Americans can request free COVID-19 tests will begin accepting orders on Wednesday as the White House looks to address nationwide shortages, but supplies will be limited to just four free tests per home.

Starting on Jan. 19, the website will provide tests at no cost, including no shipping fee, the White House announced Friday.

As he faced criticism for low inventory and long lines for testing, President Joe Biden announced last month that the U.S. would purchase 500 million at-home tests to launch the program and on Thursday the president announced that he was doubling the order to 1 billion tests.

But Americans shouldn't expect a rapid turn-around on the orders and they will have to plan ahead and request the tests well before they meet federal guidelines for when to use a test. READ MORE.The Associated Press

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BETHEL, Alaska — A school that is in danger of being lost to erosion because of climate change is at the top of the state’s list for the construction of a new school building.

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development put the school in the southwest Alaska village of Napakiak at the top of its priority list for replacement for the upcoming fiscal year, KYUK-AM reported.

The school is just 64 feet from the Kuskokwim River and it’s getting closer every year. Just two years ago, the school was less than 200 feet from the river.

Climate change is a contributing factor in the erosion caused by the Kuskokwim, a 700 mile-long river that becomes an ice highway for travelers in the winter. READ MORE.The Associated Press

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We go over some Supreme Court cases involving Federal Indian Law. Plus, how the Lakota Nation Invitational is more than just basketball.


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